I’d go there again!
I discovered this little gem a series on Goodreads and promptly went out and purchased a number of the books in the series. This is what happens when you do online shopping. I regret nothing.
I decided that I’d start with Magenta Mine rather than one of the first two books in the Invertary series since it was a novella and I was pressed for time. This was such a great introduction to a hilarious cast of characters in a small town in Scotland.
Harry Boyle is a genius and has made it big (i.e. riches). But, for all that he’s gained, he’s never forgotten his high school crush, Magenta Fraser. When they were kids Harry and Magenta were great friends; however, as they hit high school Magenta pulled away and Harry never could figure out why. Like Harry, Magenta also felt more than friendship for her best friend, but when they hit high school it became all too evident that they were in very different academic fields. Harry was heading off to university before most kids graduate high school and Magenta can barely complete her assignments. Rather than risk Harry’s derision, Magenta pushes Harry away. This plan continues to be put to use when Harry returns to Invertary, but it’s lost much of it’s effectiveness – Harry refuses to be pushed away. Then, thanks to the terrible advice of a cranky old woman, Harry and Magenta find themselves trapped in a mine. With an audience. Harry’s got to convince Magenta that he’s worth the risk with all with the eyes of their small community on them.
The premise to Magenta Mine is kind of zany and the small-town antics of the Invertary residents border on the edge of disbelief, yet there is something so charming about this novella. Harry and Magenta were both appealing characters with their own issues and the humour used by the author was a delight. Magenta was dealing with some serious inferiority issues due to her undiagnosed dyslexia, but she never came across as something less than Harry. And, as one of Magenta’s friends points out, just because you don’t do well in school, doesn’t mean you’re stupid:
“There’s all kinds of intelligence, Magenta. Just because you didn’t do well in academia, doesn’t mean you’re ignorant. You can do things that Harry can’t do.”
“Like get within three miles of a rat.”
And, yes there are many hilarious scenes with rats and the lengths that Harry will go to in the effort to avoid them. Perhaps that’s something he should have considered before wooing his lady love in an abandoned mine? Well, if hilarity for the readers is the result, perhaps not.
So, while Magenta Mine is a quick read, it is a cute read and one that I would recommend to anyone that likes their contemporary romance with a huge dose of humour. The unlikeliness of the setting and the hilarity that the author puts her characters through will have me back for more!
Anything by Susan Elizabeth Phillips. But, if you thought the meddling citizens of Invertary were hilarious, then you absolutely need to check out Call Me Irresistible.